Check Your Drawers: Americans Waste $21 Billion on Forgotten Gift Cards

More than 61% of Americans say they want to cash or a gift card for Christmas.

Yet more than a third of of consumers end up with a partially used or unredeemed gift card, according to a Bankrate study.

About half of all consumers have a gift card or store credit worth about $167.

That amounts to over $21 billion dollars in wasted gift card funds.

Ted Rossman, a consumer industry analyst for said that, “Gift cards are as good as real money [and] people forget about them.”

In fact, more than 57% of respondents said that they have held onto gift cards for over a year or more.

Many consumers may mistakenly believe that gift cards become invalid soon after purchase. That is not the case.

Before 2009, most consumers couldn’t accurately predict when a gift card would expire.

The Federal Reserve’s Truth in Lending regulation of 2009 set out to fix this by mandating that gift card issuers make expiration dates plainly visible on gift cards.

In addition, gift cards cannot legally expire for at least 5 years from the original date of issue.

Impulse buying

Throwing out or forgetting about a gift card is literally throwing away money.

Meanwhile, Americans waste incredible amounts of money on purchases while not making enough money to afford them in the first place.

The average American owns about $38,000 in debt. Meanwhile, the average annual American salary is barely $49,000.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Americans habitually waste money on purchases that they later come to regret.

According to a consumer research poll conducted by One Poll and Ladder, American consumers spend almost $1,500 every month on impulsive and nonessential purchases.

That’s essentially $18,000 being wasted annually on impulse buys.

A 2017 Pew Trust research study found that 46% of Americans spend more money than they generate every month.

Iaccino: Bitcoin a Better Hedge Than Gold? Look at the Data

Bob Iaccino, editor of the Stock Think Tank, sees the relative stability of Bitcoin compared to gold as a sign that its legitimacy as a hedge is coming into view.

costco cost

The Dividend Stock That Belongs in Every Portfolio

If you are like me, then you are always looking for great companies that are on sale. What makes the company a bonus buy is when it also pays a

Bitcoin and Gold Slaying Stocks: Why Not Own Both?

The Bitcoin vs. gold battle rages on as the two are best-performing assets of 2020. The price of gold is up 26% this year, while Bitcoin has soared 87% —

Companies Pile On Debt. Big Headaches Later for Investors?

How have companies handled the cash crunch during this pandemic? I came across an insightful in-depth research report this past week that had a few interesting charts on this. See

Potential Options Payoff in Post-Covid China Rebound

The Chinese economy is starting to show signs that it is rebounding better than other economies around the world. China was the first country that had to battle the COVID-19

Retirement Income Tip: Buy High-Yielding Dividend Stocks

Imagine a scenario where you can make money while you sleep. Sounds too good to be true, right? Enter high-yielding dividend stocks. Now, there are lots of stocks in the

Beat the S&P 500 with These Specific Stocks

Today I'm going to briefly discuss a major error that most stock market participants make on a regular basis and ways in which you can substantially increase your stock returns.

Iaccino: Dollar Down, Stocks Higher, Plus PayPal Meets Bitcoin

A renewal of federal stimulus on top of monetary stimulus after the election is likely to support the stock market, says Bob Iaccino, editor of the Stock Think Tank. The

investor or pay off debt

Invest or Pay Off Debt? In a Pandemic, I’m a Stock Buyer

If you were to tell someone that you were putting any extra cash you had into the market instead of paying off debt, they might think you have lost your

bitcoin mass adoption

Bitcoin Mass Adoption Can’t Be Far Off — That Means Surging Demand

When you look at past technological developments — from the 19th century industrial revolution through the introduction of the telephone, personal computers, Internet, and smartphones — there is a typical

stocks overvalued

Is the Stock Market Overvalued? Not By This Measure

You many have heard the term “TINA” mentioned in various financial and investment commentaries in recent months. This is an acronym for “There is No Alternative.” It is built around a

clx options

Options Play: Take Advantage of Bearish Sentiment On Clorox (CLX)

We are in the middle of a global pandemic and one of the best weapons against the virus is cleaning surfaces with bleach. If we were to ask 100 people